Rentals would qualify only after being inspected by Airbnb. Those hosts wanting in on the premium tier would have to provide hotel-like amenities with high-end bed linens and the best towels. Hosts would have to stock the kitchens with bottled water, coffee and tea. Here I thought most Airbnb’s went out of their way to do that.
For now, Airbnb isn’t confirming the plans and issued a boilerplate statement on the potential program. “We’re continually experimenting with new ways to create meaningful experiences on Airbnb,” Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas said.
The report out of Bloomberg has the program being called Select, and hosts in the tier would be featured more prominently on the site. They would also gain access to a professional photographer and interior decorator for staging the rental.
It’s a move to cater to business travelers and customers who often stay at hotels thanks to their reliability with amenities. Obviously having a nice towel matters. The program is geared towards the Airbnb professionals who will see extra cash come their way if the program launches. That’s sure to earn the ire of hotels who have been lobbying for more regulations.
The program could dampen criticism of locals who live next to Airbnb hosts. If the places are inspected by Airbnb and cater to business travelers, the result could be less Airbnb nightmare stories and more positive experience for all those involved. That’s a win for the company who aims to keep disrupting the hotel market.
Get ready for a non-stop deluge of hosts trying to one-up each other when it comes to a stocked kitchen and the best damn towels you’ve ever used.